Erin Rivard (left) and Dave Weatherill (right) standing in the community gardens at Blair Apartments. (Jennifer Blake - Morning Star)

Erin Rivard (left) and Dave Weatherill (right) standing in the community gardens at Blair Apartments. (Jennifer Blake - Morning Star)

Gardens plant hope for Okanagan residents who were once homeless

Turning Points, in collaberation with Briteland, bring square foot gardening to Blair Apartments

From perennials to potatoes, the new square foot gardens at Vernon’s Blair Apartments will allow residents to grow and care for their own plants.

Briteland President Dave Weatherill, said that square foot gardening was invented in 1972 by an efficiency expert, designed to make gardening simplistic and underwhelming.

Erin Rivard from Turning Points said that Blair Apartments had a garden before, but it wasn’t structured and ultimately didn’t end up working out.

“It gives them something to take care of,” said Rivard. “Lots of these folks have come over from the homeless shelter so they haven’t had the opportunity to have their own garden.”

A compost system has been set up at Blair Apartments for the new garden.

Weatherill said that plants don’t like cold water, so they’ve also set up a sustainable water system at Blair Apartments where the rainwater is harvested off the roof and then warmed in a tank.

All 18 square foot gardens have flowers in them.

“It’s good for the soul,” said Weatherill. “Flowers are beautiful, so let’s keep beauty in our lives.”

Sprinklers have a tendency to waste water, so Blair Apartment residents hand water their plants.

“Every drop is precious, so you learn the value of water, as well as you are right in there with your plants,” said Weatherill. “You will find that people talk to their plants, they’ll actually sing to their plants. It’s very good for the soul.”

Weatherill said that they thought there was no point in planting a whole package of seeds at once, as they would all be ready at the same time but couldn’t all be eaten at the same time.

“With the the square foot garden concept, every square is a different crop,” said Weatherill. “So when that crop is harvested, you will replace it with a new crop.”

Rivard said that they want to foster a sense of community between the residents at Blair Apartments.

“We cook probably once a week together,” said Rivard. “But this year, we can pull from our own garden, and they can reap the success of what they’ve worked hard to do.”

The new garden is a collaboration with Turning Points and Briteland.

Vernon Home Hardware helped supply materials like a shed, Kindale helped build the garden squares with kits provided by Briteland, and Hill Landscaping (Olympic snowboarder Kevin Hill and his brother Matt Hill) helped with construction.

Related: Garden Tour fundraiser running out of Vernon gardens

Related: A Gardener’s Diary: Seed sales spark gardening excitement

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
Injured mountain biker rescued in West Kelowna

The mountain biker reportedly has a hip injury about 1 km up the Smith Creek Road trail

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Gord with a mom and her young son outside Pathways which was defunded on May 31. (Facebook)
Gord Portman with a mom and her child outside of Pathways. The sign says it all about the difference Pathways has made in people’s lives. They were defunded by Interior Health on May 31.
Penticton man takes the plunge for the recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read